Interview with Matthew Sprange on Rogue Trooper

The recent launch of Mongoose Publishing’s Rogue Trooper miniatures game Kickstarer hit all the right buttons for me. I went back and re-read the Rogue Trooper comics I (vaguely) remembered from years ago (and they are still as awesome today!).

For the game itself, I was lucky enough to get Matthew Sprange – the man behind Mongoose and author of the Rogue Trooper miniatures game – to answer me some of my questions  for a brief interview about his take on Rogue Trooper, the game and his Kickstarter experience.

Read on to hear what he had to say!

Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game – Now on Kickstarter

Zweischneid:  The Rogue Trooper comics are great. What is your history with the Rogue Trooper comics? When did you first read them? What do you like best about the Rogue Trooper stories?

Matthew:  2000AD was the first comic I ever read, and I remained firmly in its camp while friends were off with the Marvel and DC worlds. Rogue Trooper throws its main character straight into the heart of a war that cannot really be won, so you are always guaranteed plenty of action!

Zweischneid: What makes the Rogue Trooper stories (and by extension the Rogue Trooper game) different from Judge Dredd? What are the things you aim for with the Rogue Trooper game to make it unique, not just compared to Judge Dredd, but to other sci-fi wargames out there?

Matthew: Rogue Trooper, as a comic strip, is far more focussed than Dredd.

Mega-City One is ‘big’ enough for almost anything to happen, whereas Rogue Trooper is all about the war and Rogue’s own mission. As for games, I think Dredd is about the diversity and black humour of Mega-City One, whereas Rogue Trooper is perhaps more about the utter hopelessness of the war on Nu-Earth. In a way, the war (and its weapons) are bigger than any of the soldiers present. You would not want to be there!

As for comparison to other sci-fi games (and I say this bearing in mind that the game is still being written through the Kickstarter process, so anything could change), I would cite two things.

First, the Reaction system. This is something that has appeared in our games in one form or another since Gangs of Mega-City One. The original idea was that we wanted to inject some artificial ‘intelligence’ into models, that they would be able to get on and do things without the player constantly having to command them. After all, we have all played games where an enemy vehicle comes screaming round the corner, disgorges a bunch of assault troops, who then plough into one of your units – while your unit just stands there and watches!

As it developed, the Reaction system also allowed players to do a great deal in their opponent’s turn, rather than just sit around and wait for their go.

I also think all the weird and whacky ‘secret’ weapons employed by the forces, such as Dreamweavers, Biowire and, of course, the GIs, will be a big pull.

2000AD Rogue Trooper Future War

Future War on Nu-Earth

Zweischneid: Even more so than Judge Dredd, the Rogue Trooper series are essentially stories about a lone-wolf character, even though they are set in the never-ending Future War on Nu-Earth. How do you approach the challenge of making interesting armies for the Rogue Trooper game over and beyond the title character? What defines the ‘Norts’ and ‘Southers’?

Matthew: That has been the central core of work on the game and, to be honest, it is still being worked on.

We started with the infantry, and looked at ways to make them different. The Norts always looked like they had lighter chemsuits, so we started there, making them faster but lighter armoured. We tied this into the Norts having shorter ranged but faster firing guns, and already there was an interesting dynamic developing, with Norts better at attacking and Southers better in defensive positions (and all the fun that goes with that when scenarios force them to do the opposite).

We already knew that Nort tanks were going to be better but gave Southers better anti-tank weaponry.

As I said, we are still working on this, and you will see the development go on throughout the Kickstarter.

Zweischneid: As Rogue Trooper is perhaps less well known than Judge Dredd, what would say is the main appeal of the Rogue Trooper minis game to people yet unfamiliar with Rogue Trooper?

Matthew: It is going to end up being the dynamics between the two forces (whatever they end up being) and, I think, all the secret weapons the Norts get!

Kickstarter Rogue Trooper Miniatures

Miniatures from the Kickstarter: a Nort, Rogue himself and a Southern (left to right)

Zweischneid: With two 2000AD-based games, there are obviously speculations if you plan on turning other 2000AD fan-favourites – say Strontium Dog or ABC Warriors – into games. Are you considering these? Or will Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper be the extent of your 2000AD line?

Matthew: We have had Strontium Dog suggested, but unless we find some way of making it an interesting solo miniatures game (if people even want such a thing), I don’t know if there is much of a game there. If I could pick any 2000AD property myself to do next, it would probably be Slaine.

Zweischneid: You are something of a Miniatures Game Kickstarer veteran by now. Rogue Trooper is your 3rd campaign! What have you learned from your previous Kickstarters? What lessons have you learned and applied to your current Rogue Trooper campaign?

Matthew: Organisation is key. Running a Kickstarter is close to a full-time occupation, so it pays to prepare as much as possible before it starts!

Zweischneid: The Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game Kickstarter was fully funded in the first day! What are your plans for the next three weeks? What is the favourite unit/characters/etc… from the comics you would most hope to add to the game through this Kickstarter?

Matthew: Well, we hope we can get to some of the really big stuff, such as the Blackmare tank and Seraphim fighters! However, we never count chickens before they are hatched, so we will have to see how it goes.

Rogue Trooper Nort Skorpion Battlewagon miniatures sci-fi skirmish game

3D renders of the Skorpion Battlewagon with Barrage Mortar (left) or Missile Rack

Zweischneid: Once the Kickstarter is over, what are your plans for the Rogue Trooper miniatures game in the long run? Do you have any “post-Kickstarter” plans to build and support a community of Rogue Trooper players, such as running tournaments, etc… ?

Matthew: It all depends on what we achieve with the Kickstarter. No doubt there will be some stretch goals we did not get to that we will come back for more miniatures in the future!

Once again many thanks to Matthew Sprange from Mongoose Publishing for taking the time from his busy schedule to answer my questions!

Are you interested in getting some Rogue Trooper games on your table?

Let me know what you think and leave a comment!


The Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game Kickstarter ends on Sunday Mar 10, 1:59pm GMT.
About Zweischneid

Hi. I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Miniature Connoisseur. Aspiring Blogger. Did you like this post? Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more. And don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at